With Resident Evil 7 right around the corner and scheduled to release on January 24, 2017, I decided to take a look at the demo to see what was new with the series. The demo received an update after a short period, and added multiple endings. I decided to give it one honest playthrough, then go online and find out how to get the good ending. And trust me, you won’t find it yourself without going online.
Now, I am a fan of the Resident Evil series. The first Resident Evil game I played was 4, and I loved it. And I’ve also stuck through with the series through 5 and 6, and even enjoyed them a little, despite heavy criticism. But like most Resident Evil players, I started to feel like I was being taken for granted, and the series didn’t appreciate me anymore. But I am happy to say that Resident Evil seems to be returning to its roots.
Initial impressions of the demo were pretty great. No more co-op or terrible two dimensional characters. Just you and a mystery. The demo starts when you wake up in a room without any idea what’s going on. You explore the house, find clues, and solve murders… If you can follow an incredibly specific set of actions that the even real detectives couldn’t follow without veins bursting in their foreheads.
But anyway, I must say that while playing, I felt a genuine fear that I haven’t felt in a while. There were some jump scares, but they were sparing and the true horror came from the ambiance and atmosphere of the surroundings. One particularly creepy moment involved some mannequins that were facing the wall, but when I turned around after exploring a little, they were facing me, not to mention an additional mannequin appeared right by the stairs I had walked up from. No screeching tones to accompany it. It just appears, leaving the real horror to your imagination. This is great. It’s a sign of growth, and it shows that Resident Evil hasn’t forgotten horror, it’s merely been lying dormant in its mind.
The horror was done well, which isn’t something that I usually give credit for in Resident Evil. What broke the tension for me though was when I came across the monster in the basement. It was scary, but when you finally see a monster, it loses some of its appeal. But, this was a demo, and it is entirely possible that it was thrown in for mass appeal. So I’ll give the demo the benefit of the doubt. And I still left feeling happy and satisfied by the end.
So how would I rate the demo overall? It’s pretty good. It’s not mind-blowing, but it demonstrates the ability to create tension and actual horror, compared to the standard, almost comedic sense of horror that has been pushed in our faces for far too long. I think RE 7 has a lot of potential. This is a real shift for the series, but it is what players have been asking for. I’m not sure how people will feel about the first-person perspective, but I believe that good horror can only be done in first-person.
So check out the demo if you haven’t already. It’s a good time, just don’t be too concerned about getting the good ending.